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G.R. No.

209464

July 1, 2015

DANDY
L.
DUNGO
and
GREGORIO
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

A.

SIBAL,

JR., Petitioners,

FACTS: Dandy Dungo and Gregorio Sibal were charged of violating RA 8049 or the
Anti-Hazing Law for the death of Marlon Villanueva. All of them were students in UP
Los Banos. Petitioner pleaded not guilty. Thereafter, trial ensued. The prosecution
presented 20 witnesses to prove the crime charged. From their testimonies, positive
identification of Dungco and Sibal were obtain that they were member of APO
Fraternity and were the ones who brought the victim to JP Rizal Hospital. Doctor
further opined that the extent and location of injuries was a victim of hazing, which
he was familiar with as he undergone when he was a tudent and his experience in
treating victims. Another, the testimony of Susan Ignacio, owner of sari-sari store,
which was barele steps away from the place of initiation testified that she saw the
accused with their other members arrived on the day of incident. While the defense
presented 7 witnesses to prove the innocence of petitioners contending that Sibal
and Dungco would not attend the initiation; that Dungco was with his girlfriend from
afternoon up to dinner time, and he went home when he was called by a member of
the Frat and asked to come over the place. As such he called Sibal; when they
arrived they were only told to bring Villanueva to nearest hospital; that he did not
disclose his real name in the guard of hospital because he was afraid. RTC ruled
that they were guilty. Aggrieved, they filed notice of appeal with the CA they
contended that the prosecution failed to establish their guilt beyond reasonable doubt for violating
R.A. No. 8049. They also assailed the constitutionality of Section 4 of the said law, which stated that
mere presence in the hazing was prima facie evidence of participation therein, because it allegedly
violated the constitutional presumption of innocence of the accused. Yet, CA foind them guilty. They
move for reconsideration but was also denied. Hence, this Petition.
PTITIONERS CONTENTION : Petitioners Dungo and Sibal argue that the amended information
charged them as they "did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously assault and use
personal violence upon one Marlon Villanueva y Mejilla." Yet, both the RTC and the CA found them
guilty of violating R.A. No. 8049 because they "[i]nduced the victim to be present" during the
initiation rites. The crime of hazing by inducement does not necessarily include the criminal charge
of hazing by actual participation. Thus, they cannot be convicted of a crime not stated or necessarily
included in the information. By reason of the foregoing, the petitioners contend that their
constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against them has been
violated.
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ISSUE: Wether the guilt of the accused was proved beyond reasonable doubt?
RULING: YES. Aside from inducing Villanueva to attend the initiation rites and their presence
during the hazing, the petitioners guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt by the
sequence of circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution. Their involvement in the
hazing of Villanueva is not merely based on prima facie evidence but was also established by
circumstantial evidence.
In considering a criminal case, it is critical to start with the law's own starting perspective on the
status of the accused - in all criminal prosecutions, he is presumed innocent of the charge laid

unless the contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt. In criminal law, proof beyond reasonable
doubt does not mean such degree of proof that produces absolute certainty. Only moral certainty is
required or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind.
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108

While it is established that nothing less than proof beyond reasonable doubt is required for a
conviction, this exacting standard does not preclude resort to circumstantial evidence when
direct evidence is not available. Direct evidence is not a condition sine qua non to prove the guilt
of an accused beyond reasonable doubt. For in the absence of direct evidence, the prosecution may
resort to adducing circumstantial evidence to discharge its burden. Crimes are usually committed in
secret and under conditions where concealment is highly probable. If direct evidence is insisted on
under all circumstances, the prosecution of vicious felons who commit heinous crimes in secret or
secluded places will be hard, if not impossible, to prove. Needless to state, the crime of hazing is
shrouded in secrecy. Fraternities and sororities, especially the Greek organizations, are secretive in
nature and their members are reluctant to give any information regarding initiation rites. The silence
is only broken after someone has been injured so severely that medical attention is required. It is
only at this point that the secret is revealed and the activities become public. Bearing in mind the
concealment of hazing, it is only logical and proper for the prosecution to resort to the
presentation of circumstantial evidence to prove it.
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The rules on evidence and precedents to sustain the conviction of an accused through
circumstantial evidence require the existence of the following requisites: (1) there are more
than one circumstance; (2) the inference must be based on proven facts; and (3) the
combination of all circumstances produces a conviction beyond reasonable doubt of the
guilt of the accused. To justify a conviction upon circumstantial evidence, the combination
of circumstances must be such as to leave no reasonable doubt in the mind as to the
criminal liability of the accused. Jurisprudence requires that the circumstances must be
established to form an unbroken chain of events leading to one fair reasonable conclusion
pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the author of the crime.
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The CA meticulously wrote in detail the unbroken chain of circumstantial evidence which
established the petitioners' gult in the death of Villanueva as follows:
1. Marlon Villanueva is a neophyte of Alpha Phi Omega, as testified by his roommate Joey
Atienza.
2. At around 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon of January 13, 2006, Sunga was staying at their
tambayan, talking to her organization mates. Three men were seated two meters way from
her. She identified two of the men as appellants Sibal and Dungo, while she did not know the
third man. The three men were wearing black shirts with the seal of the Alpha Phi Omega.
3. Later at 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, two more men coming from the entomology wing
arrived and approached the three men. Among the men who just arrived was the victim,
Marlon Villanueva. One of the men wearing black APO shirts handed over to the two
fraternity neophytes some money and told the men "Mamalengke na kayo." He later took
back the money and said, "Huwag na, kami na lang."
4. One of the men wearing a black APO shirt, who was later identified as appellant Dungo,
stood up and asked Marlon if the latter already reported to him, and asked him why he did
not report to him when he was just at the tambayan. Dungo then continuously punched the
victim on his arm. This went on for five minutes. Marlon just kept quiet with his head bowed
down. Fifteen minutes later, the men left going towards the Entomology wing.

5. The deceased Marlon Villanueva was 'last seen alive by Joey Atienza at 7:00 in the
evening of 13 January 2006, from whom he borrowed the shoes he wore at the initiation right
[sic]. Marlon told Joey that it was his "finals" night.
6. On January 13, 2006 at around 8:30 to 9:00 o'clock in the evening, Susan Ignacio saw
more than twenty (20) persons arrive at the Villa Novaliches Resort onboard a jeepney. She
estimated the ages of these persons to be between 20 to 30 years old. Three (3) persons
riding a single motorcycle likewise arrived at the resort.
1wphi1

7. Ignacio saw about fifteen (15) persons gather on top of the terrace at the resort who
looked like they were praying. Later that evening, at least three (3) of these persons went to
her store to buy some items. She did not know their names but could identity [sic] their faces.
After she was shown colored photographs, she pointed to the man later identified as Herald
Christopher Braseros. She also pointed out the man later identified as Gregorio Sibal, Jr.
8. Donato Magat, a tricycle driver plying the route of Pansol, Calamba City, testified that
around 3:00 o'clock in the morning of January 14, 2006, he was waiting for passengers at
the corner of Villa Novaliches Resort when a man approached him and told him that
someone inside the resort needed a ride. Magat then went to the resort and asked the two
(2) men standing by the gate who will be riding his tricycle.
9. The four (4) men boarded his tricycle but Magat noticed that when he touched the body of
the man who was being carried, it felt cold. The said man looked very weak like a vegetable.
10. Seferino Espina y Jabay testified that he worked as a security guard at the J.P. Rizal
Hospital and was assigned at the emergency room. At around 3:00 o'clock in the early
morning of January 14, 2006, he was with another security guard, Abelardo Natividad and
hospital helper Danilo Glindo a.k.a. Gringo, when a tricycle arrived at the emergency room
containing four (4) passengers, excluding the driver. He was an arm's length away from said
tricycle. He identified two of the passengers thereof as appellants Dungo and Sibal. Espina
said he and Glinda helped the passengers unload a body inside the tricycle and brought it to
the emergency room.
11. Afterwards, Espina asked the two meq for identification cards. The latter replied that they
did not bring with them any I.D. or wallet. Instead of giving their true names, the appellants
listed down their names in the hospital logbook as Brandon Gonzales y Lanzon and Jericho
Paril y Rivera. Espina then told the two men not to leave, not telling them that they secretly
called the police to report the incident which was their standard operating procedure when a
dead body was brought to the hospital.
1wphi1

12. Dr. Ramon Masilungan, who was then the attending physician at the emergency room,
observed that Marlon was motionless, had no heartbeat and already cyanotic.
13. Dr. Masilungan tried to revive Marlon for about 15 to 20 minutes. However, the latter did
not respond to resuscitation and was pronounced dead. Dr. Masilungan noticed a big
contusion hematoma on the left side of the victim's face and several injuries on his arms and
legs. He further attested that Marlon's face was already cyanotic.
14. When Dr. Masilungan pulled down Marlon's pants, he saw a large contusion on both legs
which extended from the upper portion of his thigh down to the couplexial portion or the back
of the knee.

15. Due to the nature, extent and location of Marlon's injuries, Dr. Masilungan opined that he
was a victim of hazing. Dr. Masilungan is familiar with hazing injuries, having undergone
hazing when he was a student and also because of his experience treating victims of hazing
incidents.
16. Dr. Roy Camarillo, Medico-Legal Officer of the PNP Crime Laboratory in Region IV,
Camp Vicente Lim, Canlubang, Calamba City, testified that he performed an autopsy on the
cadaver of the victim on January 14j 2006; that the victim's cause of death was blunt head
trauma. From 1999 to 2006, he was able to conduct post-mortem examination of the two (2)
persons whose deaths were attributed to hazing. These two (2) persons sustained multiple
contusions and injuries on different parts of their body, particularly on the buttocks, on both
upper and lower extremities. Both persons died of brain hemorrhage. Correlating these two
cases to the injuries found on the victim's body, Dr. Camarillo attested that the victim, Marlon
Villanueva, sustained similar injuries to those two (2) persons. Based on the presence of
multiple injuries and contusions on his body, he opined that these injuries were hazingrelated.
114

Petitioners Dungo and Sibal, on the other hand, presented the defense of denial and alibi. These
defenses, however, must fail. Time and time again, this Court has ruled that denial and alibi are the
weakest of all defenses, because they are easy to concoct and fabricate. As properly held by the
RTC, these defenses cannot prevail over the positive and unequivocal identification of the petitioners
by prosecution witnesses Sunga and Ignacio. The testimonies of the defense witnesses also lacked
credibility and reliability. The corroboration of defense witness Rivera was suspect because she was
the girlfriend of Dungo, and it was only logical and emotional that she would stand by the man she
loved and cared for. The testimonies of their fellow fraternity brothers, likewise, do not hold much
weight because they had so much at stake in the outcome of the case. Stated differently, the
petitioners did not present credible and. disinterested witnesses to substantiate their defenses of
denial and alibi.
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After a careful review of the records, the Court agrees with the CA and the R TC that the
circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution was overwhelming enough to establish the
guilt of the petitioners beyond a reasonable doubt. The unbroken chain of events laid down by the
CA leaves us no other conclusion other than the petitioners' participation in the hazing. They took
part in the hazing and, together; with their fellow fraternity officers and members, inflicted physical
injuries to Villanueva as a requirement of his initiation to the fraternity. The physical injuries
eventually took a toll on the body of the victim, which led to his death. Another young life lost.